The majority of summer 2019 was spent either trying to get out of the house because I couldn’t cope with the red walls in our hallway, or saving money for our new kitchen. We always said that we would wait for the kitchen to be fitted before we did work to the garden and so we planned for summer 2020 to be the summer that we would enjoy the garden, the sunshine (we’ve had more than 48 hours worth so far, which is a fluke!!) and to not be renovating for the first summer in the past few years. I would sip a G&T in the garden and we could finally have friends and family over for BBQs.
Everything was going to plan – we had plans for a wood store with living roof, reclaimed brick patio and a seating area. Unfortunately in March lockdown was announced and so our resources were limited (along with our own financial situation to consider) and it seemed that our (my) G&T plans would not be realised, along with the BBQs.
I admit that it got me down. I appreciate that there are far more important and serious things happening right now, but it did feel like things were on hold through no fault of our own. Not wanting to focus on the negative I started to look at ways for it to be achieved on a budget and with what we already owned.
We did have some pallets that we had saved from home deliveries last year. Some were being used for a make shift wood store, and that was important. We had two that were good quality and of similar size so I earmarked those straight away. I have plenty of blankets already and some cushion pads that needed covers.
I finally managed to buy some exterior paint from B&Q and was able to get a home delivery. I freshened up the rendered wall and painted it white from a dirty magnolia colour. With the work done previously to the bathroom and kitchen we had plenty of scars on the exterior walls (including expanding foam trails!) that needed sorting. I was able to pick up some exterior furniture paint when out food shopping and I freshened up a chair and set of steps we already had in the garden to use as plant stands.
I wanted to add some more colour, and since I couldn’t source reclaimed bricks at the moment for the patio, I bought this outdoor rug from La Redoute (there was a special offer code at the time too, which helped!) and it really enhances the space. It is also the best way for me to introduce green into the garden without risking the death of more plants!
Plants have been tricky to source, and I do need to buy more from online suppliers, but on a couple of food shopping trips I have been able to buy seeds and some bedding plants which have helped in the interim.
Here’s the cost breakdown:
Exterior paint – £33 (including delivery cost)
Rug – £34.49 (including delivery cost)
Plants and soil – £22.00
Furniture paint – £4.99
Cushion covers – £5.00 (including offer code)
Total = £99.48
It’s actually come in at less than £100.00, but there are still more plants to buy!
I have some more plans for outside lighting, trim on the cushion covers as they’re plain and to progress with the seating area, BUT I have already sat outside in this corner and sipped a G&T. If we were to leave this corner as it is then I would be still be so happy that I was able to turn the situation around (mentally and physically) and it always feels good to get creative and see how much you can achieve with items you already own, or on a budget. I hope that this inspires you too.